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Last Lap Bout Nets Josef Newgarden Indy 500 Win

Photo Credit: Chris Owens/IMS


The 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 was destined to provide a Memorial Day weekend worth remembering in the United States. Not even a long anticipated rain shower was enough to bring silence the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday. Showers did press the green flag back from its usual early afternoon start close to 4:45 pm eastern time but the sounds of Chevrolet and Honda engines propelling Dallara race cars did fill the air. 

Among the 33 competitors starting the 2024 Indianapolis 500 was NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson driving for Arrow McLaren. Larson had planned to compete for 1,100 miles during Sunday as he would have run 500 miles at Indianapolis before boarding a private jet to Charlotte, North Carolina to drive his familiar #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro in the Coca-Cola 600. The temptation to run the prestigious event on the yard of bricks was just too much for Larson causing him to remain at the track. 

Before late than never, the 108th Indy 500 was unleashed with a Team Penske front row led by polesitter Scott McLaughlin taken to the start of baseball legend Ken Griffey Jr driving the Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray pace car. The opening stage of the race was near savage as many a fair share of competitors failed to work up much of a sweat behind the wheel. At the first turn of the opening lap, three drivers would be early victims of the unforgiving race. The #66 Meyer Shank Racing car of Tom Blomqvist caught the turn one curb and causing him to spin collecting 2022 Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and Pietro Fittipaldi. Callum Ilott, who nearly didn’t start the race due to a shifting issue that was corrected by the help of his Arrow McLaren team, narrowly escaped the first lap incident. 


Photo Credit: James Black/IMS


Attrition also affected several Honda-powered competitors early in the event. Marcus Armstrong, Katherine Legge and Felix Rosenqvist were forced out of the race due to engine failures competing less than 55 laps. While the three engine issues proved alarming for Honda competitors, Rosenqvist’s retirement was the final such incident to occur over the 500-mile run. 

As the race restarted from its first caution for lap 9, polesitter Scott McLaughlin maintained a steady hold on the top spot in his yellow Pennzoil-sponsored machine with fellow Team Penske competitors Will Power and Josef Newgarden in tow. Conor Daly, Rinus VeeKay, Christian Lundgaard and Sting Ray Robb would also have notable turns at the front of the field through the first half of the 2024 Indy 500 with several exchanges occurring during differing pit strategies under caution. 

Among the five cautions in the first half of the Indianapolis 500 was a turn 2 spin by Colton Herta on lap 86 who had been running in second place prior to the incident. Despite suffering what appeared to be only have front wing damage on his #26 Andretti Global Dallara, Herta had stopped on track and removed himself from the race car. The American driver would rejoin the race but was removed from contention after being one of the favourites to win the Borg Warner trophy.


Photo Credit: Joe Skibinski/IMS


The next caution to slow the race came on lap 107 when Ryan Hunter-Reay’s #23 DRR-Cusick Motorsport attempted to make a pass on the Chip Ganassi Racing vehicle of Scott Dixon. With speed to pass Dixon’s #9 car on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s backstretch, Hunter-Reay advanced. Dixon moved to block Hunter-Reay late force the #23 car into a high-speed spin through the grass infield. Winner of the 2014 Indy 500, Ryan Hunter-Reay was out of the 2024 event while Scott Dixon escaped any penalty for the incident. Dixon would actually be an opportune position to win his second Indianapolis 500 in the latter half of the race as the New Zealand driver showed his customary skill in maximizing fuel mileage in an Indy car. The race’s final caution on lap 147 for Will Power’s turn 2 crash eliminated Dixon’s advantage resulting in what would become a flat-out run to the checkered flag for the remaining competitors.     

While Scott Dixon’s #9 car took the field back to green on lap 155, he was pounced upon by Arrow McLaren driver Pato O’Ward who took the top spot with his #5 race car. O’Ward’s teammate Alexander Rossi would sail by both the #5 vehicle and #9 PNC Bank-sponsored car to take the lead on lap 156. The Arrow McLaren cars traded first place for many laps until they made their final pit stop on lap 169 and lap 171. By the time the pit cycle for the leaders completed, another contender for the 2024 Indy 500 emerged in the late stage. Defending race winner Josef Newgarden ran steadily in fourth place prior to the pit stops for the lead cars but his #2 machine returned to the track ahead of the top three runners thanks to some flawless pit work by his Team Penske crew. The #7 car of Rossi would dice with Newgarden for the top position between lap 187 and lap 193 before the #5 Arrow McLaren car of Pato O’Ward rose to challenge for the lead in the closing laps. Stalking Newgarden as the final laps were completed, Mexico’s O’Ward chose to make his thrust for Indy 500 glory coming to the start-finish line on as the white flag fell. The #5 car powered by the Team Penske #2 vehicle to take the lead on the final lap. Holding on through the first two corners of the final lap Newgarden surged towards the back of the Arrow McLaren car down the backstretch and made the victorious pass ahead of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s third turn.  


Photo Credit: Paul Hurley/IMS


Winner of the 2024 Indianapolis 500 by a margin of 0.3417 seconds, Josef Newgarden once again celebrated greatness with his Team Penske crew. Although several drivers have their image on the Borg Warner Trophy for multiple wins, Josef Newgarden is the sixth driver to capture Indy 500 wins in consecutive years. Wilbur Shaw (1939 and 1940), Mauri Rose (1947 and 1948), Bill Vukovich (1953 and 1954), Al Unser (1970 and 1971) as well as Helio Castroneves (2001 and 2002) also performed the feat of winning the race back-to-back. Newgarden’s 2024 race victory comes with a 4.288 million-dollar U.S. share of this year’s Indy 500 purse that includes $440,000 for joining the crew of consecutive race winners. The win is Team Penske’s 20th triumph as an organization at the 500-mile event.


Photo Credit: Joe Skibinski/IMS



Settling for runner-up honours for after 200 laps of racing for the second time in three years, Pato O’Ward left his race car disappointed missing out on victory by just two turns. While O’Ward came short of Indy 500 glory, his Arrow McLaren team had an overall decent outing on Sunday. In contention for the win late, Alexander Rossi settled for a fourth place while Callum Iliott came from near-disaster in the opening laps to finish 11th. Qualifying fifth for the race, Indy 500 rookie Kyle Larson was behind the wheel of a fast machine throughout the afternoon but had his chances of a great run hindered when the NASCAR regular failed to slow to pit lane speed coming to his crew during a green flag stop. Earning a drive-through penalty for the mishap, Larson would come across the finish line in 18th place. While rookie challenger Christian Rasmussen driving a #33 car for Ed Carpenter Racing finished the Indy 500 in 12th place after starting in 24th place, Larson would receive 2024 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year honours for his overall performance at the speedway.    

The highest finishing Honda-powered entry for the 2024 Indianapolis 500, Scott Dixon took third sandwiched between Arrow McLaren cars in the final results. Dixon remains in a tight battle for the NTT IndyCar Series championship with Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Alex Palou. Palou finished the Indy 500 in fifth position and leaves Indianapolis with a 20-point lead in the drivers’ standing heading to the next race in Detroit. 

Polesitter for the 2024 edition of the greatest spectacle in racing Scott McLaughlin brought his Pennzoil-sponsored #3 machine across the line in sixth position leading the most laps of the race with 66. Of the 33 drivers, 16 would be credited for leading at least one lap at the 2.5-mile speedway. Andretti Global driver Kyle Kirkwood took seventh place recovering from a polarizing pit road contact penalty. American Santino Ferrucci drove a terrific Indy 500 coming home in eighth place driving the #14 car for A.J. Foyt Enterprises after qualifying in sixth. Rinus VeeKay and Conor Daly round out the top-10 finishers in the 2024 Indianapolis 500. 


2024 Indianapolis 500

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Race Results


 



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